Former NFL running back Clinton Portis was among 10 former NFL players charged with defrauding the league’s health program on Thursday.
The Justice Department filed the charges in the Eastern District of Kentucky. In addition to Portis, Robert McCune, John Eubanks, Tamarick Vanover, Carlos Rogers, Ceandris “C.C.” Brown, James Butler, Fredrick Bennett, Correll Buckhalter, and Etric Pruitt have also been charged. The Justice Department will also charge Joe Horn and Donald “Reche” Caldwell.
These players are accused of filing more than $3.9 million in fraudulent claims. More than $3.4 million was paid on those claims between June 2017 and December 2018. They made claims for medical equipment, such as hyperbaric oxygen chambers, cryotherapy machines, ultrasound machines, and electromagnetic therapy devices. However, those devices weren’t purchased or received.
The indictments say that the players targeted the Gene Upshaw NFL Player Health Reimbursement Account Plan, which provides tax-free reimbursement for out-of-pocket medical expenses that aren’t covered by insurance and that were incurred by former players, their spouses and dependents.
“10 former NFL players allegedly committed a brazen, multi-million-dollar fraud on a healthcare plan meant to help their former teammates and other retired players pay legitimate, out-of-pocket medical expenses,” Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski said in a statement. “Today’s indictments underscore that, whoever you are, if you loot health care programs to line your own pockets, you will be held accountable by the Department of Justice.”
Portis’s attorney, Mark Dycio, said in a statement, “Clinton Portis had no knowledge that his participation in what he believed to be an NFL sanctioned medical reimbursement program was illegal. He is completely taken aback by this indictment and will move forward with the process of clearing his good name and those of his fellow NFL alumni.”
Portis played for the Washington Redskins for seven years, from 2004 to 2010. He rushed for almost 7,000 yards and had 46 touchdowns. He currently works for the team’s broadcast network and is a fan favorite.